School Improvement is at the Heart of What We Do
We know our schools and prior to a school joining Swale Academies Trust we make sure that we have understood what support is required and what support they can offer our other schools. To us school improvement is always a reciprocal arrangement and even the schools with the greatest challenges have skills and expertise that need to be recognised and harnessed for the greater good.
Getting to know our schools involves a thorough data analysis, looking at all documentation including DfE data and Ofsted reports, as well as undertaking an in-school audit of provision.
Our academies will have access to shared services provided by the Trust. Where academies are not already “good” or “outstanding” Swale Academies Trust will facilitate a high quality, bespoke package of support.
Developing and Growing Swale Academies Trust
The Trust is open to any suitable proposals that may arise via the Regional Schools Commissioner or Local Authorities (in the case of NLE work) subject to Directors approval. The preferred geographical location is Kent, East Sussex and South East London.
We have an excellent track record in turning around schools in category and moving them to an Ofsted good rating. We require a regular but manageable flow of challenging schools to join our Trust in order to ensure that our skills are well developed and that we retain a varied range of contexts.
Where we differ from many Trusts is that we seek to help support individual schools to grow and develop their own good practice. A key feature of our work is the mentoring and development of leadership teams to enable them to focus and act upon things effectively and at the right time. We develop existing teams of teachers and support staff through high quality professional development. It is noticeable that in all of the schools we have developed, the majority of the staff who were present when the school fell into crisis are still there at the point when the school emerges from its difficulties. This only occurs when the organisation values the individual and recognises that competence is often relative to the level of high quality professional development received and acted upon.
Our ambition is to develop two secondary hubs of five schools each. One hub is in Kent and the second one is yet to be developed in East Sussex. In addition our ambition is to develop three primary hubs of seven schools each. Our first planned hub in Kent currently has five schools and we are hoping to build a primary hub in South London and a further primary hub in East Sussex. Discussions are at an advanced stage of development with the RSC over these plans.
- Support and challenge meetings
- Learning and teaching reviews
- Accelerated and sustained school improvement programmes
- Proven track record of improved results within a school
- Rapidly improved quality of teaching
- Improved and sustained leadership capacity and expertise
- A clear vision and strategic approach for the future
- Effective governance
- Appropriate curriculum and assessment systems in place
- Improved Ofsted outcomes
- We will work alongside colleagues and aim to work in partnership with schools ensuring we match support to their needs
- We aim to lead by example, using up to date and current methods
- We do not subscribe to particular approaches as every school is different
- We aim to be open, honest and professional ensuring mutual trust and respect
- We recognise that every school has areas of expertise and it is our goal to help grow these further as well as improve
Development Priorities 2017/2018
Swale Academies Trust has the following six development priorities for the next twelve months:
- To ensure that all our schools demonstrate progress and attendance broadly in line with national figures for all student groups and especially for disadvantaged students.
- To develop the effectiveness of local governance to ensure effective accountability procedures are in place.
- To develop and implement a coherent Trust PR strategy which promotes the Trust's values and aims through a range of effective communication mediums.
- To develop new, and enhance existing, Post 16 provision to improve vocational and academic pathways that promote student retention and more effectively meet the needs of the local economy.
- To further develop an effecient support services provision that complements the educational work of schools and is cost effective to include finance, ICT, catering, premises management, health and safety and HR.
- To develop and implement an effecient financial and performance monitoring system which reliably pinpoints the health of the organisation and gives leaders and Directors the necessary information to discharge their duties effectively.